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Saint Luke’s President and CEO Melinda Estes, MD, Named in Modern Healthcare’s '50 Most Influential Clinical Executives'

June 19, 2020

Melinda Estes, MD, President and CEO of Saint Luke’s Health System, has been named as one of Modern Healthcare’s 2020 “50 Most Influential Clinical Executives,” honoring clinical executives working in the industry who are recognized by their peers and industry experts as the most influential in their leadership and impact.

"Healthcare organizations are utilizing their greatest assets as they transform: their former front-line clinicians. Former and practicing physicians and nurses have taken the helms of health care providers across the country and improved quality of care, patient satisfaction, and margins," said Aurora Aguilar, editor of Modern Healthcare.

“With her background as a practicing neurologist and neuropathologist—and her wealth of experience as a health care executive—Dr. Estes brings to the table a genuine understanding of the issues, requirements, and challenges uniquely affecting health care today, as well as what it takes to address them, always, with what’s best for the clinical teams and patients in mind,” said Tom Wagstaff, Chair of the Saint Luke’s Health System Board of Directors.

Dr. Estes joined Saint Luke’s in September 2011. In 2018, the American Hospital Association Board of Trustees selected her as chair-elect designate. After serving as chair-elect in 2019, Dr. Estes began serving as Chair of the AHA Board of Trustees in January 2020.

Her bio on the Modern Healthcare page touches on some of the initiatives that have taken place within Saint Luke’s over the past few months, which are also efforts Dr. Estes has highlighted in her work on the national stage with AHA: “She has used her platform to laud hospitals for expanding capacity, finding innovative ways to use telehealth, and more during the COVID-19 pandemic … She’s also been an advocate for increased federal funding for hospitals as they deal with the financial fallout of the outbreak.”

“This hasn’t been the year any of us anticipated for Saint Luke’s and certainly not for Dr. Estes in her year serving as Chair of the Board of Trustees for the American Hospital Association,” Wagstaff said. “At the same time, we are incredibly fortunate as a health care organization to have Dr. Estes’s leadership and guidance to see us through and beyond this pandemic, and to know that she is shaping plans, responses, and conversations on a national level in her leadership role with the AHA.”

The complete ’50 Most Influential Clinical Executives’ ranking is featured in the June 15 issue of Modern Healthcare.

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